Do yous guys need a thoughtful gift for someone special? If your special someone hails from the City of Brotherly Love or you simply want to remember a special trip, then I have just the gift guide for you! Give your friend or family member a taste of Philly with one of these ten Philadelphia gifts.
Philadelphia in autumn is delightful. Yes, the days are all shorter, cooler, wetter, and often cloudier. But crowds decline in the offseason and with locals home from summer vacations “down the Shore” (or elsewhere), festivals and events go into full swing. There are so many fun fall things to do in Philadelphia. A visit during autumn can be a great way to experience the City of Brotherly Love and get a feel for what the city (and the region) is all about!
While the Washington, DC cherry blossoms are famous and remarkably beautiful, don’t overlook other regions for their flowering trees! The City of Brotherly Love celebrates the flowering cherry trees in bloom each spring with a Philadelphia cherry blossom festival that is a week long. Full of a variety of events, the festival culminates with Sakura Sunday. But you can see and enjoy the Philadelphia cherry blossoms across the city whenever Mother Nature lets them arrive. And boy are they worth seeing! I’m recommending a few cherry blossoms spots in Philadelphia, tips for viewing, and an overview of the Philly cherry blossom festival.
There is no surer sign that spring is just around the corner than the arrival of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Each year, visitors from near and far make the pilgrimage to the city’s Center City neighborhood to see the show and its dazzling floral displays that will delight, inspire, and excite. And the Philadelphia Flower Show 2019 simply doesn’t disappoint. With a theme of Flower Power, the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show is modern, fun, and not to be missed!
It is time to ditch the belief that visiting major cities is expensive. It doesn’t have to be! There are so many free things do in Philadelphia that visiting the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t have to be expensive. And you don’t have to be a budget traveler to enjoy these spots. From art to history to enjoying the great outdoors to events and festivals, there’s something for everyone!
Experience all the great free things to do in Philly and save your money for something else. Might I suggest experiencing Philly’s foodie scene? But one thing at a time.
Here are some of the best free things to do in Philadelphia, including some free museums in Philadelphia that you won’t want to miss.
For more than a decade, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia has allowed visitors to experience a traditional European Christmas Market in the City of Brotherly Love. And it’s done so with a decidedly German focus and feeling. Starting in late November each year, LOVE Park transforms itself with dozens upon dozens of huts selling a variety of gifts, food, and drink. Plus there are live musical performances and visits with Santa Claus. The Christmas Village Philadelphia is a uniquely festive way to spend an afternoon or evening and one of the city’s most popular holiday attractions.
With hipster havens in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh bookending Pennsylvania, you probably don’t think of Harrisburg as the first spot for a cool, urban location to spend a day. But you should. Don’t underestimate Harrisburg. The capital city’s Midtown neighborhood will make you rethink what you think you already know. The neighborhood is rich with a farmer’s market with an internal food court, art galleries, street art and an independent bookshop that puts the rest to shame. And all of those things are set in and around a backdrop of historic buildings with the kind of architecture they just don’t make anymore. Midtown Harrisburg is laidback and easy going in a way that “the big city” just isn’t.
To say that a Pennsylvania State Capitol tour in Harrisburg is a pleasant surprise is a massive understatement. For a state that was founded on Quaker values eschewing materialism, there sure is a whole lot of 23K gold, Italian marble, and two dozen stained glass windows created by a student of Tiffany. And all of this in that awkward middleground between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, surrounded by farms, many from Amish families, and industry. What could pass in part as, perhaps, the mansion of a turn of the century American magnate or an elaborate cathedral, or even just a museum, is actually the capitol building. And with free tours of the capitol building, you’d be silly not to visit and take it all in. Just don’t blame me if you get a sore neck from gazing upwards at the ceiling and walls.
Philadelphia soft pretzels are an iconic part of the city’s food scene. Philadelphia is a foodie town: cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and roast pork sandwiches are local favorites. There’s plenty of fine dining options in the City of Brotherly Love if that’s your thing. But street foods that are sometimes messy, sometimes indulgent, and always delicious seem to satisfy so much more, at least for me. And it’s said that Philly eats six times more pretzels per year than the average American. So where can you get the best soft pretzel in Philadelphia? I went on a soft pretzel adventure to find out!
Traveling is stressful enough as it is, so I wanted to share some of my favorite Philadelphia tips and recommendations as a born and bred local. The City of Brotherly Love richly rewards visitors. There are countless museums, restaurants, and shops. The sports fans are diehard, to put it lightly. Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin, artist Mary Cassatt, and actor Kevin Bacon all have walked the streets and called the city home at one time or another. There’s history no matter what period of the past interests you. Get to know Philly with these local favorites.
While there’s no shortage of fun places to explore within the city, the list of Philadelphia day trips you can take is long and varied. Within only a few hours you can be up in the mountains or “down the shore” with your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. The arts, food, history, the great outdoors, or shopping: there’s a place to steal your heart just outside of Philadelphia if only just for a day.
This year for my birthday the plan was to take a day trip to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, for a relaxing ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. The mountain town was once dubbed the “Switzerland of America” and it is an easy drive from Philadelphia or New York. It attracts visitors for the historic train, outdoor adventures or simply exploring the small downtown area. But it’s also extremely family friendly — and that includes your furry four-legged family members!